11 October 2007

Just for the joy of it

I'm listening to Gomez' "Devil Will Ride" and it is, in one of those tiny cosmic bursts of synchronicity, amplifying and reinforcing the thought I came down the stairs holding in my head and heart to post, which was this:

Music was my big clue leading to something about life that I needed to know. Music revealed that all the world comprised more than what I knew best, a difficult, scary world full of deceptions and entanglements. Music said, hold on, there's also the joy of it: it really is about bouncing around together and unabashedly wanting everybody and everything all at once. I still believe in my heart of hearts that we can solve world peace with music, one note at a time, something no other medium (not religion, nor politics) can claim. A "singing revolution" took place in Estonia when the people took up a song to represent their nationhood, refusing to yield this nugget of their identity to the political dealings of bigger and badder nations (Turkey, Russia) warring for that tiny yet hugely symbolic isthmus of a country. People who loved to sing their song defused a moment that could have turned tragic and stood up for themselves as Estonians.

There's something about singing a song out loud -- and meaning it -- that pulls us to the proverbial campfire to reflect on our experiences in a way that nothing else does today. Some people think TV is an equivalent form of entertainment and diversion, but take those friends to a live show once a year and remind them of the electricity we can share when we decide to spend an evening in one room together, without all the retakes and flattering angles and commercial breaks.

I am still convinced that people know this better first-hand in other countries. I'm always talking about going other places and hearing adult men sing out loud in public. Here they think that will turn them into sissies or something and they're afraid to sing. But go to Europe and the people just sing, everywhere I go.

So I listen, and play. It's all I can do, all I can really believe in.

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